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One of the satellite-sized access bays into ESA’s ESTEC Test Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, nestled in sandy dunes along the Dutch coast.
On the other size of this multi-storey door – note the standard door to the right for scale – is an airlock leading through to a 3000 sq m cleanroom complex, filled with test equipment to simulate all aspects of spaceflight.
Europe’s largest satellite test facility, private company European Test Services operates the ESTEC Test Centre on behalf of ESA. The site has been responsible for space-certifying many historic space missions, including the comet-chasing Rosetta; the 20-tonne ATV space truck; Envisat, the world’s largest civilian Earth-observing mission and the majority of Galileo navigation satellites.